The lesson My Childhood give good detail of My Childhood Memories. It can be considered as my childhood story. It is well explained through My Childhood Introduction, Message, Theme, Title, Characters, Summary in English, Summary in Hindi of My Childhood, My Childhood Word meanings, Complete lesson in Hindi of My Childhood, Extracts, My Childhood Long answers, Short answers, Very short Answers of My Childhood, My Childhood MCQs and much more.
By- A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
Short and Simple Summary of the lesson in English- MY CHILDHOOD / Summary in simple Words/ Critical appreciation of the lesson – MY CHILDHOOD
In this chapter. Prof. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam tells us about his childhood. He was born in the town of Rameswaram. His father’s name was Jainulabdeen and his mother’s name was Ashiamma. Kalam’s father was neither educated nor rich. Yet he was wise and generous. His mother was also very kind. A number of outsiders daily ate with their family. Abdul Kalam had three brothers and one sister. They lived in their ancestral house in Mosque Street in Rameswaram. It was a large pucca house. His father avoided all luxuries. However, the house had all things of daily necessities.
Abdul Kalam was eight years old when the Second World War broke out. Suddenly, there was a great demand for tamarind seeds. He would collect those seeds and sell them in the market. He got one anna (about six paise) for a day’s collection. It was a good amount in those days. His cousin, Samsuddin distributed papers in Rameswaram. He needed a helping hand and employed Abdul Kalam. Kalam still remembers the pride that he felt on earning his own money for the first time.
Abdul Kalam was greatly influenced by his parents. He learnt honesty and self-discipline from his father. He inherited goodness and kindness from his mother. He had three close friends in his child nod. They were Ramanadha Sastry, Aravindan and Sivaprakasan. All these boys belonged to orthodox Hindu Brahmin families. As children, they never felt any religious differences among themselves. During the annual Shri Sita Rama Kalyanam ceremony. Kalam’s family arranged boats for carrying idols of the Lord. At bey time, his father and grandmother told the children stories from the Ramayana.
Once when Abdul Kalam was in the fifth standard, a new teacher came. Abdul Kalam was sitting with his close friend Ramanadha Sastry in the first row. The new teacher could not tolerate a Muslim boy sitting with a Hindu priests son lic asked Abdul Kann to sit on the back bench. Both Abdul Kalam and Ramanadha Sastry became sad Later. Sastry’s father rebuked the teacher and he realised his mistake.
Abdul Kalam’s science teacher Sivasubramania Ayyyer was a high caste Brahmin. But he did not believe in social and religious barriers. One day, he invited Abdul Kalam to his home for a meal. ayer’s wife was very conservative. She refused to serve a Muslim boy in her kitchen. But ayyyer served Abdul Kalam with his own hands and sat down beside him to eat his meal. After meals, his teacher invited him again for dinner the next week. When Kalam went to his teacher’s house the next week, his wife took him inside her kitchen and served him food with her own hands.
Then the Second World War was over and India’s freedom was imminent. The whole country was filled with a mood of joy. Abdul Kalam asked his father’s permission to go and study at Ramanathapuram. His father gladly allowed him to go.
Kalam was born in a middle-class Tamil family in Rameswaram. He had a secure childhood, both materially as well as emotionally. His parents, Jainulabdeen and Ashiamma, were very generous people in spite of their limited means. Kalam inherited the values of honesty, self-discipline, goodness and kindness from his parents. Kalam’s family was rather big, but their kitchen fed far more outsiders than all his family members put together. Their ancestral house was a large pucca house which did not have any inessential comforts and luxuries. However, Kalam’s father made sure that all necessities like food, medicine and clothes were provided to the family.
In 1939, when the Second World War broke out, there was a sudden demand for tamarind seeds in the market. Kalam collected these seeds and sold them to earn an anna which was a big amount for a small boy like him. His brother-in-law Jallaluddin would tell him stories about war which Kalam would try to trace in the headlines of Dinamani
Rameswaram was an isolated place and the war didn’t make any direct impact on it except that the train’s halt at the station was stopped. As a result, the bundles of newspapers were now thrown off running trains. Kalam’s cousin Samsuddin, who used to distribute these newspapers in Rameswaram, sought Kalam’s help to catch the bundles. Thus Kalam got the chance to earn his first wages which gave him immense self-confidence and a sense of pride.
Kalam had three friends – Ramanadha Sastry, Aravindan and Sivaprakasan – who were very close to him. All three were from orthodox Hindu Brahmin families but religion never made any difference to their friendship. Later in rife, Ramanadha Sastry took over the priesthood of Rameswaram temple from his father, Aravindan took up the business of arranging transport for visiting pilgrims, and Sivaprakasan became a catering contractor for the Southern Railways.
Kalam’s family used to arrange boats with a special platform during the annual Shri Sita Rama Kalyanam ceremony. The platform was used for carrying idols of Lord Rama from the temple to the wedding site ‘Ram Tirtha’ which was a pond near Kalam’s house. Kalam grew up listening to the stories both from the Ramayana and the life of the Prophet from his mother and grandmother at bedtime.
Certain incidents of his childhood left a deep impression on Kalam’s young mind. When he was in the fifth standard, a new teacher came to his class and did not like that Kalam, a Muslim boy, was sitting next to Ramanadha Sastry, a Brahmin. He sent Kalam to the back seat simply because it was in accordance with the social ranking of Muslims. Both Kalam and Ramanadha Sastry felt sad at this action of their teacher. Sastry wept and this had a deep impact on Kalam. Both the children went home and told their respective parents about it. Sastry’s father summoned the teacher and told him not to spread the poison of social inequality and communal intolerance in young minds. He told the teacher to either apologise or leave the school. This made the teacher not only regret his action but he was also reformed.
Another memorable incident of his childhood was when Sivasubramania Iyer, Kalam’s science teacher, invited him to his house for a meal. Sivasubramania lyer was an orthodox Brahmin and his wife was very conservative. She was horrified at the idea of inviting a Muslim boy to dine in her ritually pure kitchen.
When she refused to serve Kalam, Iyer did not lose his cool and not only served the boy with his own hands but also sat and ate with him. He invited Kalam the next weekend as well. Noticing Kalam’s hesitation in accepting his invitation, Iyer told the child to be prepared to face such situations if he wished to change any system. When Kalam visited Iyer’s house again, his wife took him to her kitchen and served him food with her own hands.
The freedom of India was in the offing when the Second World War ended. Following Gandhiji’s plea, the entire nation was hopeful of building their country themselves. Kalam too sought his father’s permission to go and study further in Ramanathapuram. His father permitted him willingly because he wanted his son to grow. He even convinced Kalam’s mother by telling her that parents should not thrust their ideas upon their children as they have their own way of thinking.